Strange Wills was a radio program syndicated in 1946. It was produced in Hollywood by Charles Michelson and Teleways Syndication. Stage and film star Warren William, who starred in the show, was also part of the creative team.
The stories were said to be based on actual wills, with the names of those involved changed. The stories themselves were compiled by lawyer-turned-author Ken Krippene from his research over a ten-year period. These shows were quite different from other mystery dramas of the era. They would look at the complexities, dramas, and legal entanglements that arise from some wills. The wills would have unusual bequests, or involve a search for a missing heir. Warren William would portray Probate Attorney Warren Francis O'Connell, who would act as probate and relay the story as he observed it.
The cast for most of the productions included its host and star, Warren William, and have co-starring Howard Culver and Carleton G. Young. Other actors include Lurene Tuttle, William Conrad, and Peggy Webber. The remainder of the supporting cast of most productions was comprised of many of the West Coast's finest voice talent. This was one of Teleways finest productions up to this point. The show ran for one season of 26 shows, although in the May 17, 1947 Billboard magazine states that an addition 26 shows were in production. Unfortunately, only a few more may have been made and four are in circulation.
Eventually, Charles Michelson bought the syndication rights from Teleways, and then licensed them further to Grace Gibson Radio Productions for distribution in Australia. This was done in part to skirt the 1948 Petrillo Ban, which was a musician strike at the time.
Warren William either bought or licensed the entire series of productions from Charles Michelson. With this, William would form his own company, Warren William Radio Productions, Inc., with hopes of continuing the series on NBC. This series was then renamed I Devise and Bequeath. There were five shows created, of which four are in circulation. However, these use the same scripts as the Strange Wills show. Unfortunately, William would pass away from multiple myeloma in 1948 and no further work is known to have occurred.
Information for this synopsis was taken from The Digital Deli Too website, from Jay Hickerson's The Ultimate History of Network Radio Programming, from Wikipedia and Google Books.
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" Section below for more information on the OTRR.
It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
This is the Single Episodes Page. The Certified Set includes extras not found here. It is located at OTRR Certified Set. This Single Episodes page is provided in case you want to sample the shows.Note that in many cases, file names have been modified from the original OTRR names to conform to archive.org naming requirements.
If you are interested in preserving Old Time Radio (OTR), you may wish to join the Old Time Radio Researchers Group at Facebook and Groups.io.
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OTRR Maintained Set -- This set contains all known episodes in the best available audio condition with the most accurate dates and titles known to be in general circulation and based on current research at the time of release. Replaces OTRR Certified Accurate and OTRR Certified Complete.
OTRR Non-Maintained Set -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Maintenance process.
Pre-2019 OTRR Definitions:
OTRR Certified Accurate -- A series that was "Certified Accurate" indicated that all the episodes were properly identified and labeled based on current information but that the series did not contain all known extant episodes.
OTRR Certified Complete -- A series that was "Certified Complete" achieved the highest level of certification available under the OTRR Certified Standards. This certification level implied that all the files in the series were "Certified Accurate" and also indicated that the series was as complete as possible and included all circulating episodes.
OTRR Non-Certified -- A collection of shows that has not gone through the OTRR Certification process.
Also, beginning in 2019, the version numbers of our OTRR releases changed format -- instead of v1.0 or v2.1, we are now using a version number that reflects the year and month the set was released. The format used is a two-digit year followed by a two-digit month. For example, "v1906" indicates a set that was released in June 2019, or "v1910" indicates a set released in October 2019.
NOTE: There are no passwords for any of our ZIP files. If you are prompted for a password, before downloading the file again, try unzipping the file into a shorter full folder path name -- for example, unzip to "C:\" instead of "C:\Documents and Settings\your_Windows_ID\some_other_folder\". Sorry, some of our releases contain long folder and file names, which sometimes manifests itself on the Windows platform as prompting for a password for the ZIP file. Or try renaming the ZIP file itself to a shorter name before unzipping.